Holy Family Trip (11 Days & 10 Nights)

Day 1: Arrival Cairo Arrival in Land of Pharaohs. At Cairo International airport you will be welcomed and assisted through immigration and customs by Bright Star Tours representative, then escorted to your hotel. Overnight in your Hotel in Cairo.

Day 2: Cairo / Farma Today we will drive North from Cairo to visit Farma ( mid-way between El Arish and present day Port Said), which is the first step for the Holy Family in Egypt. According to the sources of the Coptic Church documented by Pope Theophilus, and recorded in the Coptic Senexarium the Holy Family proceeded from Bethlehem to Gaza, and then to El-Zaraniq (Know as Floussiat), 37 km west of El Arish, then they threaded their way until they reached Farma. Proceed to Ismailia. Lunch, continue to Tal Basta. Here Jesus Christ asked Virgin Mary water to drink, she went requesting water from the people in the city but they refused to give her, she returned back crying when the lord Jesus wiping her pure tears, and drawing a circle on the ground, suddenly purely water spring appears. The holy family drank and the Virgin Mary washed his clothes in it. Since 1970 and up till now, the archaeological excavations in Zagzig University working in Basta Hill under supervision of Dr. Mohamed Amr Mohamed Selim, the head of ancient civilization of the higher Institute for Near East, and who confirmed the presence of the Holy spring, Dr. Mofeed Shehab also confirmed that this spring is the spring which Jesus Christ drinking from it. After we drive towards Belbeis, where the Holy Family rested there in the shade of a tree which came to be called “The Virgin Mary’s Tree”. Continue to Mostorod (which came to be called, in those days ‘’Al-Mahamma’’) it means the ‘’Bathing Place’’, a name given to the town because the Virgin Mary Bathed the Christ Child and washed his clothes. It is worthy of note that, on their way back to Palestine, the Holy Family stopped once more at Mostorod and this time, caused a spring to gush from the earth which still flows to the present days. Back to Cairo and Overnight. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 3: Cairo / Samannoud / Sakha After Breakfast. Drive to Samannoud, visiting the El Shaheed (Martyr) Abanoub Church also visit a large granite trough which, according to local belief, was used by the Virgin for kneading dough and a water-well which the Christ Child himself hallowed. Drive to Sakha the Coptic name of the town “Pekha-Issus” means “the foot of Jesus”, for the holy Child’s foot-print was marked here, in bas-relief on a rock. The rock was preserved, but hidden for centuries for fear of robbery, and only unearthed again 13 years ago. Back to Cairo. Overnight in Cairo. (Breakfast)

Day 4: Cairo / Wadi El Natrun After breakfast, leave Cairo travel through the desert road. We stop in Wadi el Natrun, situated in a valley dotted with oases. Visit some of the four quietly inhabited monasteries of the Coptic Monasteries of this area and learn about Coptic faith. Back to Cairo. Overnight in Cairo. (Breakfast)

Day 5: Cairo After breakfast, we set our heading for Matariyah and Ain Shams (ancient Heliopolis). At the time of the Holy Family’s arrival there, Ain Shams was home to a large Jewish community, who had erected a temple -the Synagogue of Unias- for their workship. In Matariyah, a tree still stand to this day, still regularly visited, called Mary’s tree, for the Holy Family is believed to have rested in its shade. Here too, the Infant Jesus caused water to flow from a spring from which he drank and blessed, and in which the Virgin washed his clothes. She poured the washing on to the ground, and from that spot, the fragrant balsam plant blossomed. Setting out next towards Zeitun (the word means Olives), where the Holy Family rested a while visit St.Mary’s Church where she appeared on April 1968. After we will visit the Church of the Virgin Mary in Haret Zuweila. It was probably built around the AD 10th century. Proceed toThe Cathedral of St Mark in Azbakieh- Numerous churches attached to the Cairo headquarters of many of Egypt’s monasteries, also visit the Church of the Virgin Mary (known by the name: Ezbaweya) Back to hotel. Overnight in Cairo. (Breakfast)

Day 6: Cairo Today we will discover the oldest part of the city, known as Coptic Cairo, originally a Roman fortress town called ‘’Babylon”. Visit the hanging Church (El Muallaqa) one of the oldest churches in Egypt and the history of a church dates to the 3rd century A.D where the Virgin Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus took refuge, after visit Saints Sergius and Bacchus Church, also known as Abu Serga dating back to the 4th century A.D.Visit sites like Synagogue of Beni Ezra. Drive towards Maadi. In the quarter of Maadi we will visit the Church of the Holly Virgin Mary. Where the Holy Family sought refuge from persecution. On 12th March 1976, a Holy Bible was found floating in the Nile at Maadi miraculously undamaged, it was open at the chapter Isaiah 19:25 containing the phrase: `Blessed be Egypt my people’.

Day 7: Cairo / El Menya In the early morning we will travel from Cairo towards Dier Al Garnous (Abai Issous) the Home of Jesus 10 Kilometers west of the village Ishnin El Nasara – Maghagha. Nowadays there is a church there after the name of the Holy Virgin Mary which goes back to the nineteenth century beside the western~ wall inside the church there is a deep well. According to tradition, the Mimar said that the Holy Family drank from it on their way to Deir El-Muharraq.After cross to the east bank of the river where the Monastery of the Virgin now stands upon Gabl Al Tair (Birds Mountain). It is known by this name (Gabal El-Tair) because thousands of birds gather there. The Holy Family rested in the cave which is now located inside the ancient church there. Gabal El-Tair is also called Gabal El-Kaf (‘Palm Mountain’). Coptic tradition maintains that, as the Holy Family rested in the shade of the Mountain, Jesus stretched His little hand to hold back a rock which was about to detach itself from the mountain-side and fall upon them. Procced to El Menya. Check in our hotel. Overnight in Menya. (Breakfast) Day 8: El Menya/ Assiut After breakfast we will visit the most meaningful destination of all in the land of Egypt, the place where there would be “an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt”. The Monastery of Al-Muharraq nestles against the western foothills of the Mountain. It was built around the area where the Holy Family remained just over six months. Their time was spent mainly in a cave which became, in the Coptic era, the altar of the Church of Virgin Mary, built at the western end of the Monastery compound, the altar stone was the resting place of the Child Jesus during the months He dwelt there. The whole area the Monastery and its surroundings is redolent of the Coptic Christian ethos. So hallowed are its intimations, that the Copts of Egypt named it the Second Bethlehem. It was here, at the very spot where Al-Muharraq Monastery stands, that the Angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, and said “Arise, and take the young Child and His mother, and go into the land of Israel; for they are dead which sought the young Child’s life” (Mattew 2:20 & 21). After we will visit Deir el-A’dra – Gabal Dronka (Virgin Mary Monastry at mountain Dronka) the monastry is built in the mountain where there is a cave where the Holy Family stayed for a month (during the Nile flood) before heading back to their homeland on a boat.Procced towards Assiut. Check in our hotel. Overnight in Assiut. . (Breakfast)

Day 9: Assiut / Cairo Breakfast. Then drive our bus towards Cairo. Arrive Cairo; check in our hotel in Cairo. Overnight in Cairo. (Breakfast)

Day 10: Cairo Free day at leisure in Cairo. (Breakfast)

Day 11: Departure Cairo After your Breakfast you will be transfer to Cairo airport for your flight back home. (Breakfast)

Holy family rout